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Shifnal Chiropractic Clinic

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Top 5 Camping Tips

01/08/2016

Top 5 Camping Tips

Between the international terrorism, the economic situation and ever-changing weather, many people are electing to take their summer holidays at home, often heading to some of the beautiful countryside we have in this country for a spot of camping.

Whether you motorhome, caravan or go all-out with the tent, there are ways to stay happy and healthy this summer which every camper should know about!

  1. Safety first: Make sure you take a good first aid kit – and know what’s in it and how to use it!  It’s no good in an urgent situation to be rooting around trying to find what you need, only to realise your kit doesn’t have that item.  There are some ready-assembled kits available on the market, but I think that the best option is to put it together yourself.  That way, you know what’s in there and (hopefully) how it should be applied.  Basics include things like insect repellent, anti-septic creams and plasters, but it is also worth having some diarrhoea relief, an emergency hiking blanket, antihistamines, and some emergency rations – just in case.

  2. Team up: Go with another family, or another branch of your own family.  The more the merrier – and safer!  You can all help out with meals and equipment, but it also can be a lot easier to keep an eye on everyone in the group, especially young children.  It may help keep children more entertained and therefore out of trouble, as well, if they have people their own age to play with.

  3. Meal preparation: this is key from so many points of view.  Depending where you are going, there’s the simple matter of shop-availability – it may be quite a trek to the nearest store if you run out of something.  Also, eating healthily is still important on holiday, and you will be able to prepare a number of nutritious, healthy meals in advance which will also take some of the stress out of camp-cooking.  Again, if you have decided to team up with another group, maybe meet before to arrange a rota for meals – maybe have theme nights, or try to get the kids involved.

  4. Watch your back! Predictable, coming from a chiropractor I suppose!  But there really is no point in planning your ideal camping holiday, only to have it ruined by pain.  Don’t over-load your car – loading everything in where there isn’t enough space will require awkward twists and lifts that are a danger in themselves, but also going for long journeys in a cramped or sub-optimal position is just asking for trouble.  Get as many people helping to set up the camp as possible – many hands really do make light work!  Particularly with caravans – the tendency is to fine-tune that parking position yourself, hauling away on the tow-hitch or pushing it just that last inch into place.  Don’t.  Ask for help – another pair of hands can make all the difference.  Equally, if you are tired from a long day and have the option to leave something until the next morning, then do.  Muscles fatigue, especially doing unfamiliar tasks, so allowing them rest time will reduce the likelihood of injury.

  5. Placement: In a camp site, you will most likely be allotted a certain pitch to use.  Sometimes these pitches are less than ideal, but there are a few things you can do to make the best of the situation.  First, you can ask if there is an alternative.  No point in making do on something that has lumps and bumps all over the place if the site is half-full and a better option is available.  If there is no alternative, then common sense says make it as level as you can – clear any rocks, stones, pinecones or other debris off the site, and then work out which way most of the slope is going.  Try to arrange your site so that wherever you are sleeping, your feet are downhill from your head.  If it’s somewhat undulating, find the flattest spot or a point where the which best fits the contours of your body – imagine you are using them for low back or neck support, maybe with one behind your knees!  A small shovel in your camping kit may also allow you to remove offending tussocks, but check this out with the camp manager first!

So that’s it – my 5 ways for a happy, healthy, stress-free (or at least, stress-reduced) holiday in this beautiful country we call home!

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